While US officials have repeatedly make clear that their goal with respect to North Korea is denuclearization, Pentagon officials are increasingly willing to admit that they view the “only way” to accomplish that as not just a war, but a full-scale US ground invasion of North Korea.
Officials are a lot less willing to make public what the implications of such a protracted ground war would be, saying an accurate assessment of the losses in such a war would be difficult. It’s not a big secret, however.
At the very least, millions of people would die in this sort of war. The toll could be broad across the entire region, with millions presumed to die in South Korea alone, with Japan and Guam also likely to be targeted, and a “catastrophic” loss of US troops participating in the war.
A number of opponents on the war in Congress are pushing for more public assessments of the consequ4ences of the conflict, saying they believe the American public should know what’s at stake going in. These lawmakers are also keen to make it clear that President Trump cannot unilaterally attack North Korea without Congressional authorization.